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The Orville Is Back With Anne Winters and Jessica Szohr

Jessica Szohr, Anne Winters, Lauren Conlin

The Orville, Seth MacFarlane’s epic space adventure series returns exclusively as a Hulu original series. Set 400 years in the future, “The Orville: New Horizons” finds the crew of the U.S.S. Orville continuing their mission of exploration, as they navigate both the mysteries of the universe and the complexities of their own interpersonal relationship.

Lauren Conlin spoke with cast members Anne Winters and Jessica Szohr about the show and why people should tune in and watch even if they are not into futuristic shows!

Both ladies cannot say enough wonderful things about working with Seth McFarlane.  So much so, that we may end up binge watching all three seasons. New mom Jessica Szohr also confirms that she hasn’t been affected by the baby formula shortage in the US,  thank goodness.

The Orville Interview:

Lauren Conlin: New show Orville. Okay. Now this, this show. I have to tell you guys, this is not my style of a show. It’s more my husband’s style, but I need someone to sell me on it. I’ve watched the previews. I’ve watched, you know, the screener that I was sent. Why should I keep up with this show? I’m not a Sci-Fi person.

Anne Winters: It wasn’t a Sci-Fi person either. And when I booked this show, I was the first, like, this was my first season coming onto the show and I’ve binge watched first and second season. And I was like, you know, this actually is a really cool take on something I didn’t know of a genre that I would really enjoy. And I think Seth does a really good job of like creating this world in this like new alien character, different galaxies, different, um, species to kind of bring in like actual topics.

And it is kind of a drama comedy along with the Sci-Fi aspect. And. Third season just brings it to a whole new level. I honestly am really glad I got introduced because I was the same way. And then I booked like, yeah, I don’t even watch Star Trek or Star Wars or either. Here’s here’s the thing, like, it’s not your typical Sci-Fi show. I don’t think. And I, and I kind of agree. I had watched certain things, not all of it. I’m not, I wasn’t like a super, not theSci-Fi like junkie. Um, but this brings you on, uh, takes you on a different journey. Like I was watching episode 3 of 3 before we had this press junket. And there was a time where we’re like, which from the, from the raft into the, like, we’re on the spit, then we go to the spaceship, then we’re at a high school, then we’re in the woods.

And I’m like, there’s a moment where Dave and Anna are. They. But then you see them in uniform. So it kind of just takes you on a different journey and ride, but then the writing is what’s up. And then obviously the cast is amazing. That brings up. But the writing of the story we’re talking about, it makes you look at things in a little bit of a different lens.  And then there is the layer of comedy. It’s just, it’s a different twist on Spotify, I think. And that’s why you didn’t see anything from the past seasons. You need to watch the one where Bordas gets addicted to cigarettes, that’s the second season.

Lauren Conlin: Well, you know what else it is? It’s like the uniforms that throw you off too, right? Immediately. I see these like star Trek uniforms, and I’m like, I don’t really know about that.

Anne Winters: It throws you off, especially since we filmed this in quarantine, because we’re wearing the same exact uniform for like so long.And you come back after an entire year and a half and like your whole life has changed. I mean, Jess literally got pregnant and was like, like had a baby during this time. And you come back, you’re in the same trailer, same uniform, same hair and makeup. And you’re like, this is weird.

Lauren Conlin: Wait, Jen, congratulations. By the way. That’s amazing.

Jessica Szohr: Oh, wow. It’s funny. I got, I got a call from some of the producers was like, do you think we’re going to need fitting, I had the, my daughter on January 11th. They went back to work, I think right after new year’s in January, whole year, I went back to work in April. So I had like my three month. Um, like exactly three months.

Yes. And they were honestly like, do you feel okay? Are you good? It wasn’t like I was forced or anything obviously. And I went back, but I remember one of the producers saying, do you think you’re going to need a fitting? I said, I don’t know if I’m going to fit in that same uniform. You guys.

I had a full on pregnancy.. I did end up fitting in it and it actually fit better. I was like a little bit more filled out than I was before. So it looked like more of a booty and like curves where I didn’t normally, so it worked out.

Lauren Conlin: I love that sexy mama in the outfit. Wait, can I just ask you really quick off topic? Are you finding issues with formula shortage?

Jessica Szohr: Um, I, I’m not worried about that. We, we do Holly, H O L L.

Lauren Conlin: Yes. All my girlfriends did that. I was the only one that you Similac, like a ghetto as $..k, whatever, but that’s the German kind, right?

Jessica Szohr:  It is, and I was breastfeeding the whole time on set. So see that was the other thing I shoot a scene and then I’d have to pump, and then I would go pump if she had already eaten, she was in my trailer. That was the cool thing. The cast and crew were cool. So my scheduling with the, with that, and my daughter came to set every day, which I like would have never planned on getting pregnant in the middle of a show, especially one with these hours.

So not only was it two and a half hours in makeup, I’m a new mom and all of that. It was Kelly Rutherford on Gossip Girl really set the tone for me.

Lauren Conlin: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. Oh my gosh. No, you’re, you’re literally a hero. That’s amazing. Moms are heroes. Nobody even understands. It’s like, you’re playing a hero and you are a hero.

Okay. And Jess, I do want to know, because this like gets me for every show. Is there a love story in it?

Anne Winters: There are there are there’s quite a bit. Yeah. My love story kind of took me for a loop. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into and I kind of like how it turns out. You’re going to have to wait and see, but there’s love.

Jessica Szohr: There’s love. There’s a lot. Yeah. And the, yeah, there’s a lot of, I’m telling you when you tune in, you’re going to be like, this is not what I expected from a Sci-Fi show. And that’s where for people that don’t want them to miss an opportunity of some good entertainment and some cool like life, eye opening situations, because now this has all of that.

Lauren Conlin: Okay. Honestly, I have to say you grow, you guys need to be making extra for this because you’ve actually sold me on it. Um, more than like the press kit, more than all the PR materials. I mean, honestly like you girls have really sold me.

Jessica Szohr: When  you take someone with all the work. She’s done 13 Reasons or coming from Gossip Girl or Shameless it’s a very different tone, a very different vibe, a very different. Uh, show altogether, like aesthetically all the things. So when you’re having an actor, like Anne actor like myself, explain this to you, really from the bottom of our heart, we wanted to do this show because of the way it was written and what we can exempt for it.

And when you go on this journey with it, I’m telling you, that’s where I don’t want people like that. Wouldn’t normally watch a Sci-Fi show to be misrepresented because it really is a different kind of.

Lauren Conlin: Yeah. I mean, because the shows that I have watched you guys on, obviously, you know, I watched 13 Reasons and you Jess, I watched you religiously on Gossip Girl. So it’s like, these are my show then obviously I’m very basic. So, you know, but I will say I love Seth McFarlane. He also is amazing to me. I mean, I would watch anything that he puts out and then again, I was like this. I was like, eh, I don’t really know, but okay. All right. What was that like?

Anne Winters: I’m going to use this to segue. Just to say if that Seth McFarlane so after working on the Orville, I got introduced to Fuzzy Door. Who’s doing the Orville and they ended up, um, kind of taking over the book that I optioned during quarantine. I read a book option dead. It’s called the unraveling of Cassidy Homes. And Fuzzy Door is behind it. So Seth has a new project in the works. I don’t know if he’s going to be in it necessarily, but like his company is a little bit behind it and UCP, so Universal Studios is behind it. So I’m really excited about that. And that’s not Sci-Fi that is going to be much more up your alley. I just know it. And, um, it’s like everything that I would dream in a show that like, I somehow. Was able to get it going.

Lauren Conlin: Oh my gosh. I’m so excited. Well, I’ll have to like watch out on Instagram or something to figure out yeah.

Jessica Szohr:  And go listen to the XOXO podcast!

Lauren Conlin:  I have so much to do right now. Okay. This is amazing. Well, this has been so nice ladies. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. And Jess, I mean, kudos to you for being a working mom. It is not easy. Nobody gives us any $…g credit at all. And we literally deserve so much. If no one gets anything, they’re probably killing themselves down the stairs right now.

Anne Winters: Working Mom is also a great show. If you want to binge something

Lauren Conlin: Totally seen it. Well, thank you so much. I’m going to watch the Orville now. Thanks to you ladies. So thanks again.

Jessica Szohr: We’re going to check back in.

The Orville Season 3 premiers on Hulu June 2nd.

Inside the real Gossip Girl party 

About author


Lauren is a New York City based reporter, podcaster and host, with a focus on pop culture news and true crime. She is currently a writer and reporter for Pop Style TV,, and Lauren is also the host and producer of the investigative podcast titled, “Corruption: What Happened to Grant Solomon.” She hopes to reveal the truth behind an alleged cover-up and accidental death of an 18-year-old boy in Tennessee. Lauren is the creator and host of the pop culture, news & crime podcast, “Lauren Interviews.” She has featured interviews with public figures like Joe Exotic, actors like Kyra Sedgwick and Alec Baldwin, plus real housewives like Luann de Lesseps. Lauren previously worked for WABC RADIO, writing news briefs and articles pertaining to entertainment, crime, and politics while also serving as on-air talent. Lauren also hosted a wellness show on WOR Radio in NYC, and then teamed up with 98 Degrees’ Jeff Timmons for a podcast called “Millennials Revealed.” Some true crime highlights in Lauren's orbit: After a woman named Julia Wandelt came forward claiming to be missing child Madeline McCann in 2023, Lauren went viral for getting the first video interview with her spokesperson, Fia Johansson; discussing whether or not a DNA test was underway. Lauren also revealed brand new interviews and information regarding the deaths of actor Brittany Murphy and her husband Simon Monjack in 2020, which lead to her also being featured on VICE TV and Law & Crime. Lauren also made headlines after an exclusive interview with the fiancé of Aaron Carter just days after his tragic death, while also covering Carter’s death as breaking news on Lawrence Jones Cross Country (Fox News). Lauren also reported on the tragic death of Matthew Perry as both breaking news, then as a tribute while on Fox News as a guest. Her interviews and reporting have been covered by People, EW, The Today Show, Perez Hilton, Page Six, Elle Magazine and more.
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